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There is a renewed interest in restoring the old Clifton Gate House. I have been invited to another meeting to determine what is to be done with it. I went to one of these meetings a while ago. A farmer wanted to turn it into a weekend farmers market. He said he had $10,000 he was willing to invest in repairs! That wouldn’t cover one small portion of the roof (Spanish tiles are expensive!) An interested party for this meeting is Civic Works. I hope they get the ok to take it over. They are currently restoring the Clifton Mansion in Clifton Park. Former estate of Johns Hopkins. It is a great project being done. I enjoy going on tours there.
The reservoir, piping and gate house were built between the years 1875 and 1888. The tunnel work between the Montebello Reservoir and the Clifton Estate commenced on August 16, 1876. In 1877 it was suggested to construct an additional lake at Clifton. In 1878 the Clifton Tunnel was completed and brick arched. The decision was made by the Water Board to go ahead and create an additional reservoir at Clifton. This work started in 1879. By 1881 the Lake Clifton construction was left unfinished due to lack of funds. The Clifton gate chamber was completed and a wooden shed is built over it to protect the iron work from the weather. Because of lack of funds, work halted on the lake and did not resume until 1884. (Water was sent to the City via the valves under the wooden shed)(Wish I could find a photo of that!)
Work at Lake Clifton progressed satisfactorily during 1887. The tunnel connecting Lake Clifton to Lake Montebello was in thorough working order. The gate-house superstructure is well under way. It is believed that it is advanced enough where water can be let into the Lake during the year 1888.
1888 – Lake Clifton is finally completed and put into service on December 27, 1888. Lake Clifton has a full capacity of 265 million gallons of water. The water area is 30 acres and is 30 feet deep and has the same elevation as Lake Montebello. (The completion stone for the gate house says 1887)


From a postcard, soon after building.


The lake (reservoir) in service and supplying water to the City.


The completion stone 1887.


Interior view a couple years ago.


Neglected roof.


The lake after being drained, to make room for a new school. Graves were found here.


Clifton Mansion being restored by Civic Works. From up in the tower you can see the gate house and the outline of where the lake was.